Holly Walker’s second-half goal could not inspire a comeback in Wasps’ latest friendly, which ended in a 3-1 defeat to Old Actonians at Ewhurst.
However, in the reserve-team encounter between the two sides , we ran out 6-2 victors, helped by Natalie Stephenson’s brace.
After defeats to Gillingham and Brighton in the last seven days, Wasps faced yet more higher-level opposition as part of a testing start to our pre-season schedule.
Old Actonians were promoted from the London and South East Premier Division in 2014-15 and last season finished 10th in the Women’s Premier League, beating Wasps in the FA Cup.
But it was the hosts who started the brightest in the first 20 minutes and had the best early chances, Walker hitting the underside of the bar with a header from Stephenson’s corner, and Rosanne Fine forcing a save from Rachel Hillman – the Wasps keeper guesting for Old Actonians in the first period. The visitors also had a goal ruled out late in the half for offside.
Old Actonians did break through in the second half, though, a cross eluding the Wasps defence before being swept in and when they doubled their lead the game appeared to be safe.
But Wasps kept plugging away, Kelly Barton striking the bar with a free-kick, and Walker’s effort from the edge of the box gave hope of a comeback.
That was not to be though as, virtually straight from kick-off, a long ball dissected the Wasps defence and left the Old Actonians forward with a simple finish.
The reserves, however, enjoyed better fortunes after two emphatic strikes from Stephenson.
Charlotte Barnham, Rebecca Dunt, Faye Charles – on her debut after signing from Shoreham & Adur – and Zoe Martin were also on target as the reserves followed up last weekend’s 1-0 loss to a youthful Gillingham.